Low carb tortilla fest

Sep 8, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. ET

The tasty array of low carb tortillas lends the low carb chef a myriad of mouthwatering options. If you have been buying tortillas for the sole purpose of making wraps or burritos, feast your eyes on the following recipes for innovative meals that are lower in carbs than traditional tortilla-based recipes and high on sumptuous flavor.

Baked chips

Makes 32 chips

Light, crisp, and low carb, these baked chips give you all the satisfaction of the typical deep-fried snacks typical of restaurant fare and the chip and dip grocery aisle but without all the calories, carbs, or fat. Pair with a freshly diced fruit or vegetable salsa or a homemade cool and creamy guacamole.

4 low carb tortillas, any flavor of your choice
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Finely ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut tortillas into eight equal wedges. Place on rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with nonstick cooking spray, stir, then spray again. Sprinkle with paprika, black pepper, and salt. Bake until chips are lightly browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Chips will continue to crisp as they cool.

Nutritional analysis (using LaTortilla Factory Whole Wheat Low Carb Low Fat Original Tortillas)
Per 8 chips: 60 calories, 27 calories from fat, 3g of fat, 0mg cholesterol, 11g carbs, 8g fiber, 5g protein, 245mg sodium, 20mg calcium, 1mg iron

Ceviche in green onion tortilla bowl

Serves 4

Talk about a showy presentation for guests! Bake tortillas into edible bowls then fill them with succulent, citrus-infused seafood. Ceviche is a Peruvian-inspired dish that uses citrus to marinate a variety of seafood. The acidity of the citrus denatures the proteins in the seafood and cooks it without heat. You simply combine the ingredients, refrigerate for about four hours, and let the citrus do the work. Ceviche is an easy dish that makes for an impressive appetizer as well as a lush midday meal when paired with a tossed, lightly dressed vegetable salad.

1 1/2 cups uncooked baby scallops (or larger scallops, diced)
1 1/2 cups uncooked small shrimp
1 1/2 cups uncooked diced white-flesh fish, such as tilapia, mahi-mahi, cod, or halibut
1 garlic clove, minced
Zest of 1 lemon, chopped
Juice of 3 lemons
Juice of 4 limes
Juice of 1 small orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

4 low carb green onion tortillas*
Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray

1. Combine seafood, citrus, and salt in a large glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for four hours or until fish is translucent. Drain and discard citrus. Add green onions, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and olive oil and stir to combine. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place tortillas one at a time in the skillet to soften, cooking for about 30 to 60 seconds.

3. Brush both sides of tortillas lightly with vegetable oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray and gently push each into its own 1-cup custard dish or small oven-proof bowls. Line tortillas with foil and fill with dried beans or rice. This will keep tortilla in the shape of a bowl while it bakes.

4. Bake until tortilla becomes crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes to set shape. Discard foil and beans or rice and transfer tortilla to a serving platter. Fill with ceviche, sprinkle with paprika, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

*Use the freshest tortillas available because older tortillas tend to dry out and may crack when shaping into bowls before baking.

Nutritional analysis (using La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Low Fat Green Onion Tortillas)
Per serving: 211 calories, 63 calories from fat, 7g of fat, 39mg cholesterol, 15g carbs, 9g fiber, 22g protein, 345mg sodium, 55mg calcium, 1mg iron

Smoky cheese and herb pizza

Serves 4

When you are yearning for pizza strikes, instead of blowing your carb quota on a doughy delivery order, try a cheesy-topped thin crust version melding a low carb garlic and herb tortilla, garden fresh herbs, and smoky gouda. Corn tortillas can be used for smaller-sized pizzettes, but take note that corn tortillas can have up to 16 grams of carbs per serving. Read the labels if low carb tortillas are not available.

4 low carb garlic and herb or spinach herb tortillas
1/4 cup fresh basil, rolled lengthwise, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tiny fresh thyme leaves, removed from stem
1 1/2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place tortillas on baking sheets and top with remaining ingredients. Bake in oven until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve warm.

Nutritional analysis (using La Tortilla Factory Low carb Low Fat Garlic and Herb Tortilla)
Per pizza. 272 calories, 144 calories from fat, 16g of fat, 65mg cholesterol, 12g carbs, 9g fiber, 16g protein, 586mg sodium, 435mg calcium, 1mg iron

Kalamata quesadillas with roasted walnut red pepper sauce

Serves 4

Gooey, chewy quesadillas get an elegant update with earthy kalamata olives, creamy fontina cheese, and a roasted walnut red pepper sauce. Cut quesadillas into wedges to serve as a first course or pair with thin-cut grilled vegetables for a filling spring afternoon meal.

1 cup roasted red peppers, from a jar, packed in oil, drained
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste

4 low carb flour tortillas
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted, sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. Place sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree. Transfer to a small saucepan over low heat and keep warm until ready to serve. This can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days.

2. Lay tortillas on a clean, flat surface and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Turn tortillas over and sprinkle olives, cheese, and parsley on the lower halves of the tortillas. Fold top halves over to cover filling.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Use a large flat spatula to transfer two quesadillas to skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom of tortilla is golden brown. Press top of tortillas with spatula to spread the melting cheese. Use spatula to flip quesadillas and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and cheese is melted and bubbly.

4. Transfer quesadillas to a warm serving platter or individual dinner plates and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining two quesadillas. Serve drizzled with roasted walnut red pepper sauce.

Nutritional analysis (using Mission 6" Carb Balance Flour Tortillas)
Per quesadilla: 362 calories, 234 calories from fat, 26g of fat, 51mg cholesterol, 16g carbs, 11g fiber, 16g protein, 680mg sodium, 266mg calcium, 1mg iron

Cheesy whole wheat enchiladas with creamy wild mushroom filling

Serves 6

Traditional enchiladas are hefty on the carbohydrates and heavy on the diet. Typically, the fillings are lower carb but the grande flour tortillas can pack over 50 grams of carbs. Using a low carb tortilla gives you the freedom to enjoy this dish without the diet damage. Wild mushrooms are rich, meaty, and meld lavishly with cheese and sour cream. Substitute regular button, crimini, and portabellos, if wild mushrooms are not readily available.

1 1/2 pounds mix of wild mushrooms, such as shiitake, chanterelles, or porcini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of salt
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1 cup sour cream
6 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
6 low carb whole wheat tortillas
1 cup red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup shredded jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Chop mushrooms and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

2. Add mushrooms, thyme, and black pepper, and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms release their moisture and become tender and browned, about 7 minutes.

3. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in parsley, sour cream, and cream cheese, allowing the cheese to melt and the mixture to get creamy. Heat tortillas in a skillet over high heat to soften, about 20 to 30 seconds.

4. Fill tortillas with mushroom mixture and roll into open-ended enchiladas. Place tortillas side by side in baking dish with seams of tortillas underneath. Pour enchilada sauce evenly over tortillas and sprinkle with jack cheese.

5. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray and tightly cover baking dish with cooking spray side down (this will keep the cheese from sticking to the foil). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

Nutritional analysis (using La Tortilla Low Carb Low Fat Whole Wheat Tortillas)
Per enchilada: 331 calories, 207 calories from fat, 23g of fat, 64mg cholesterol, 19g carbs, 12g fiber, 12g protein, 320mg sodium, 172mg calcium, 2.5mg iron

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